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Response to the release of names of Jesuits with credible allegations of sexual abuse

| By Rev. Brian F. Linnane, S.J.

Rev. Brian F. Linnane, S.J., president of Loyola University Maryland, issued this statement on Dec. 17, 2018:

 

Earlier today, the Maryland Province of the Society of Jesus released a list of Jesuits with credible allegations of sexual abuse of minors since 1950.

 

It is with great remorse and pain that I share with you that seven Jesuits who have been previously affiliated with Loyola University Maryland or Loyola’s Jesuit Community are among those on the list: John F. X. Bellwoar, Louis A. Bonacci, Francis C. Bourbon, H. Cornell Bradley, Arthur J. Long, Garrett D. Orr, and Claude L. Ory. None of these individuals are still associated with Loyola, and none of the allegations occurred while they were on campus. You can find more information on each of those individuals and their time at Loyola in the report.

 

The Province’s decision to release the names is a welcome and essential step as we work toward healing within the Catholic Church. Only through transparency can we find justice and help build a stronger, better future as a Church and as a community. As a university that works to ensure a safe environment for every member of our community, we have a zero-tolerance approach to abuse and a commitment to report any allegations immediately to authorities.

 

This news is deeply troubling for all of us to hear, particularly for those members of our community—including alumni—who may recall interactions with these individuals. I hope you will join me not just in prayer but also in support for all survivors of clerical sexual abuse.

 

If you believe that you, or someone you know, has been abused by a Jesuit or a Province employee, I urge you to contact the Maryland Province by calling the Victim Assistance Coordinator at 443-370-6357, MARadvocacy@jesuits.org, or in writing to the Maryland Province of the Society of Jesus, 8600 LaSalle Rd, Suite 620, Towson, Md. 21286. If the Province’s Victim Assistance Coordinator receives an accusation involving a minor, she is required to inform law enforcement in the jurisdiction where the abuse occurred.

 

At this difficult time, I hope each of us can find strength in knowing that if we walk through this darkness, we will find the light. Transparency and openness can reveal weighty truths. We must confront them and address them so we can move forward with optimism, hope, and a conviction that we will never allow such deplorable actions to occur in the future.

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